It could have been Worse is My Answer!

This post comes in the wake of recent medical incidents of some sincere seekers, who have been doing/done everything that materially every Jigyasu is expected to do – Sadhana, Seva, Satsangs etc. Yet when some tragedy or misfortune strikes, the obvious doubt is on the efficacy of God/Guru. The faith is terribly shaken and trust flies out of the window. Everything associated becomes a suspect and sadly some may even conclude on the futility of the spiritual journey itself.

Firstly, as Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of The Art of Living says – Everyone dies, Good person dies, Bad person dies; Doctors die, Patients die; Rich die, Poor die; King dies so also subjects; So one thing that is truth at the time of birth, known to everyone is that one day a person born has to die some day. Yet there is a sense of non-acceptance of this irrefutable and unchangeable truth.  Immediate response of the near ones (I experienced it twice, when I lost my Father and recently my Elder brother, both departed quite young by today’s standards) Our trust and faith was shaken terribly (thankfully for not very long). Why us? is the obvious question (as if it is ok, if this were to happen to someone else). The first response was What is the point in worshiping God or having a Guru when they “ditch” us like this? (when they are actually carrying us to bear this pain) . Why couldn’t they stop this? (the inevitable truth is forgotten). Now, cut to the next set of examples 

We had examples of some ardent followers in the path, who never missed a day’s Sadhana, did their Seva at every opportunity presented, regular organised and conducted Satsangs, who fell seriously sick (I have been witnessing this in very close quarters in the recent months, one as late as 3 days ago in a Satsang). Again the faith of near ones and many observers was challenged. What is the point of all the 3Ss (Sadhana, Seva and Satsang) if they fall seriously sick (at the time of occurrence, some were even written off and even indicated by doctors that if they survived they would be vegetables all their lives. Much to the surprise of the thorough Medical professional and naysayers, they recovered miraculously. Certainly, I believe it is due to power of collective blessings just as those very rational Engineers and Medical Professionals who were around concede to it. To some who asked me, why did it happen in the first place, my answer as an ordinary mortal – it could have been worse!

Today Vadi is back to near normal and leading a life he lead before (yes after a Mid Brain Hemorrhage episode)
Atharv back home, as active as ever!!!
Miraculous and inexplicable arrest of Blood leakage in brain (Status as of today in this screenshot)

As Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar expounds during a Q&A session during a Satsang – Keep the faith intact

We often mistake our intense craving for our intense faith and try to manipulate the divine to fulfill our desires and get our work done. If you have faith in God only for the sake of having your desires fulfilled, then that will simply not work.

Which is greater: God, or your desire? Just think about it. You want to use God like currency for transactions, and you want to do the same with your Guru. Faith and devotion are needed to help you rise higher in life and go deeper within yourself.

Difficulties and unpleasant times come in everyone’s life. Is there anyone who does not have problems in their life? Lord Krishna faced so many obstacles during his lifetime. Lord Rama also faced many problems in his life. Mahatma Gandhi also faced many hurdles in his life. So difficulties come and go in life. When your faith and devotion remain intact and unshaken during those turbulent times, then you do not feel the unpleasantness of those situations. Faith becomes your anchor during these difficult times and keeps you steady.

On a completely dark night, even a flickering lamp can help you find your way and keep walking forward. But if you try to extinguish that very source of light, then it is no good. People who do this then try other ways to handle difficult situations, such as drinking alcohol, etc. Faith is a great wealth and gives you strength. Just because a few small things did not go in your favor, it does not mean that you should make your faith so fragile and delicate that it breaks every now and then.

That is why I said that it is good that you feel your faith is becoming weak and failing because something you wanted did not happen. It is alright. Eventually you will put your faith into someone or something.

Faith that is built in such a way surely will shake at some point of time. Every time your faith shakes, your devotion will be renewed from within once again. Truth never fails or gets shaken. True faith remains unshaken regardless of everything that happens. That which shakes is just some small belief at a very superficial level. It is your own expectations and desires which shake you

 

Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in a knowledge sheet had put forth this profound thoughts for us to chew on. This is universal and eternally applicable.

Reason is reeling in the known. Faith is moving in the unknown. Reason is repetition. Faith is exploration. Reason is routine. Faith is adventure.

They are completely opposite, yet an integral part of life. Not having faith itself is misery; faith gives instant comfort. While reasoning keeps you sane and grounded, no miracle can happen without faith. Faith takes you beyond limitations. In faith you can transcend the laws of nature but it needs to be pure. Faith is beyond reason, yet you need to have faith in your own reasoning! Faith and reason cannot exist without each other. Every reason is based on some faith. Whenever reason or faith breaks, confusion and chaos prevails which is often a step for growth.

There are two types of faith. Faith out of fear, greed and insecurity; and faith born out of love like the faith between the mother and the child, the Master and disciple. Whereas the faith out of love cannot be broken, faith out of fear and greed is shaky.

An atheist bases himself on reason, and a believer on faith. A believer uses God as an insurance policy! He thinks he is special. In the eyes of God there is no “mine” and “others”; all are the same. An atheist rationalizes to keep his eyes shut to reality. Death shakes them both! When someone close dies, an atheist’s eyes are opened, and a believer’s faith cracks. Only a Yogi – a wise one – remains unshaken. For that person has transcended both reason and faith.

You need a balance between faith and reason.

Cut to the present, in both cases these distrust was soon overcome and life moved on. Back to going on pilgrimage to Sabarimala, for Darshan and blessings of Guru. The unpleasantness was taken in the stride using exactly whatever we lost trust on. We tend to lose faith or tend to distrust the only Truth, God or the Guru that is our real & eternal support, all other kind of supports are fleeting. Even the best of medicine will not work if we don’t trust the doctor and the medicine itself. Remember, Medicine Cures! Faith Heals!

One more learning! Faith and trust doesn’t mean rely on Blessings or healing process solely. Our part of the action is a prerequisite and understanding that just those actions may not guarantee results. We allow the Grace to work through our action by being in a state of Gratitude.

Come what may! Keep your faith up! It will hold you up!

25 can be Gold or Diamond too – And It is!

At the risk of sounding repetitive (since nothing has changed but it only got better), I start off this piece with almost same lines I have penned earlier

This is to the one who has colored up our lives for 25 years, a miracle who never ceased to be miraculous 

As it happens every year,  I am experiencing something called Blog-Fear (like Stage-Fear) when I thought of writing a few of my thoughts for this wonderful Angel of our lives – who is “Everything (Akhila)” literally ! It is considered Silver Birthday – but not for us. It is more valuable than Gold or Diamond. Here I go….

On this day 25 years ago, I was handed over a wonderful gift wrapped in woollens, a gift that me as a Father could have ever ask for: I am so proud of the fact that you have become so beautiful within heart and outside it, and you are not just my daughter but also my best friend.

Life was never the same for the entire family. The first Queen of the family after generations of waiting was not only cherished by all, but celebrated. With all those pampering, what I admired in you the ability to keep that head firmly on your shoulders and not getting carried away.

Every moment of the past 25 years has been filled with Joy thanks to whatever you did. Unfair not to mention Vishnu too who enhanced it for the 18 years of them.

What I also love is that love for life that as Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji advised – You “Lived” every moment, not just existed – You grew up, not just aged.  In the process, you ensured that you sprayed this perfume of happiness on everyone around you. If in doubt, ask everyone around who were touched by you and the difference you made in their lives. (Just confirm that it is not a blind love of a father, Was all those due to my genes? YES :-P)

A click that I cherish – 25 years back – Clinging to the treasure like my life dependent on it (Fact)

Here is a birthday Wish from all of us – we been trying to find the right words to say for quite a while now, but we just could not! So let us leave it at –  we love you for whatever you are. We thank the Divine for the wonderful gift we have in our lives. Happy Birthday to the Wonderful Soul, a friend and daughter, sibling, everything.

And both Sindhu Akka and Swathi di  also send their hearty wishes (and gifts in person)

Here is my customary song dedicated to you. Reserved it for your 25th (saw this about 5 years back)

You are the Best Thing on each of 9862 Days

Twenty Seven up and even after 9862nd day it looks like it was just yesterday that we tied the proverbial knot. Every year when I sit down to pen these words of genuine gratitude, I only end up thinking (and concluding) that this amazing soul deserves much much more and no amount of blog space is enough to describe what she is!

Happy 27th Anniversary Aparna (Yeah! Pat yourself on your back, you cohabited with this guy for 27 long years) – What is a milestone for many including me, for you it just another day – undiminishing enthusiasm and amazingness as it was on 31st March 1991, every day, & today.

Surely it is not like those Mills and Boon books kind of romance, but I can honestly declare it as no less than that. Every moment of lives we spent together (and in rare occasions when we were apart due to our travels) has been special and it would be a BIG LIE! if I were to claim it was due to me. Thank you for everything. A lot of things have been achieved – Academically, Professionally and Socially too. Your role in each it has been beyond measure atleast in those bits that has turned out great in our lives. Just to give you an example – Our lovely gems Akhila and Ashrit. The way you have chiselled them into a wonderful sculpture – it is beyond words. What a gift they turned out to be, thanks to you.

I heard a friend quoting “A man who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” Well!!! I am the proof of the one who has been bestowed this favour (or should I say it is an understatement?)

This piece and our lives would never be complete without offering our Pranams and Gratefulness to Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for His Presence and influence in our lives. He is yet another who has bestowed His unconditional love and affection and Blessings on us perpetually and been inspiring us to cross of oceans of challenges smilingly.


Happy Anniversary! You are the BEST Thing that happened to me! This is also My song selected for today.  Thoughtfully presented by Ray LaMontagne – just for me

And since we are off to a Temple – an early surprise celebration by the Kids who enliven our lives

The other highlight – Barring just 2 years out of 27 (including our Wedding day) Lord Varuna has unfailingly showered (literally) His Blessings on us. Just like it is raining right now